Pope Francis Appoints Eight to Sex-Abuse Commission
Group Includes a Victim and Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley
By Deborah Ball
March 22, 2014 2:08 p.m. ET
Pope Francis on Saturday appointed a victim of sexual abuse and a senior cardinal known for his zero-tolerance approach to a new group charged with advising the Catholic Church on how to respond to the problem of sexual abuse of children.
In December, Pope Francis announced plans to establish the special commission, in one of his first major moves to confront an issue that has shaken the church.
Among the pontiff's eight nominations Saturday, four are women and five are lay people. They include Marie Collins, who was sexually abused by a cleric in the 1960s and is a leading campaigner on the issue in Ireland, and Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley, who spearheaded that city's response to the problem. Poland's former prime minister, a prominent British psychologist and an expert in canon law were also among those named, reflecting the range of issues the new group is supposed to address.
The Vatican said the panel, which has only advisory power, will start its work soon, but didn't specify when. The members first will decide the scope of responsibilities of the new group, which will include additional members from other regions, the Vatican said in a statement.
While Pope Francis has enjoyed immense popularity since his election last year, some victims groups have expressed disappointment that he hasn't spoken more forcefully about the problem.Read more ...